LXV ARCHITECTURE AND ART 287 us the locked doors of the past; and we seem to share in the feasts and fights, in the pomp and dalliance of the Safavi kings." We learn from the pages of Krusinski that the original building described by Chardin was destroyed by fire, and that we owe the present edifice to Shah Sultan Husayn.1 The Chahar Bagh.—Such were the chief buildings in the centre of the city, and we now pass to the Chahar Bagh, or " Four Gardens,"2 with a splendid double avenue of oriental planes one hundred and fifty feet wide, which is entered by a fine gateway. Water ran down the centre in stone channels and collected in basins at the cross roads, and on each side tiled gateways led to the gardens of the great nobles of the Court. To quote the ornate description by Dr. Fryer,3 " all the pride of Spahaun was met in the Chaurbaug, and the Grandees were Airing them- selves, prancing about with Jiheir numerous Trains, striving to outvie each other in !?omp and Generosity. ... In the Garden itself, variety *of Green Trees flourishing, sweet Odors smelling, clear Fountains and Rivers flowing, charm all the senses ; nor is there less surprizal at the ravishing Sight of the delicate Summer-houses by each Pond's side, built with all the advantages for Recreation and Delight." The Madrasa-i-Shah Husayn.—Situated off the Chahar Bagh is a magnificent madrasa^ or college, which impressed me deeply. Beyond a recessed archway, with decoration of the effective honeycomb pattern, a covered vestibule leads into the main court. Here a combination of shade, water and flowers enhances the beauty of the building, the chief features of which are the exquisite tiles, rising above a wainscoting of marble, and the lovely stencilling. As the illustration proves, Coste has done full justice to this stately pile. The Bridge of Alkh Verdi Khan.—The noble avenue of the Chahar Bagh leads to the bridge of Allah Verdi 1 Trans, by Dn Cerceau, i. p. 126. 2 The avenue was built on the site of four vineyards. Persians are very fond of building four gardens and dividing each garden into four divisions. s East India, and Persia, ed. for the Hakluyt Society by Crooke. Fryer's account of Isfahan is well worth reading.